Lions split a pair with Northeastern State

Joplin, Mo. -- Whitney Clute pitched a complete-game, four-hit shutout in the opener, but the Lions fell in extras in the night cap, splitting a double-header with Northeastern State today at Kungle Field. 

Southern (14-28-1) won the opener 1-0 behind Clute's masterful performance in which the senior from Webb City struck out the side in the first two innings en route to eight punch outs on the night. She walked none and limited the Riverhawks to just four hits. 

Not to be out done, NSU's (13-27) starter and former Lion Lacee Craig threw six innings, and allowed just one run, while striking out two and allowing five hits to the Lions as the opener took just one hour and 13 minutes to complete. 

The Lions got their run in the fourth as Grass singled to start the inning and moved up to second on an error by the right fielder. She was pinch-ran for by Kiley Siebenaler and Siebenaler moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Clute. She then scored when Megan Roark doubled to the fence in right center. 

Kelli Bax, Grass, Roark, Angie Turner and Natalie Nelson had hits for the Lions in the opener. 

In game two, NSU's starter Cayce Coleman and the Lions Tiffany Bennett matched pitch-for-pitch in the first four innings as neither pitcher allowed a run. The Riverhawks, however, scored two runs in the top of the fifth on an RBI single from Ashley Rogers and a sacrifice fly from Lisa Ripperger. 

The Lions answered back with a run in the sixth and another in the seventh to tie the game and force extras. An RBI double from Angie Turner scored the first run in the sixth and Jessica Brooks' sacrifice fly in the sixth scored the tying run. 

That forced extra innings, and NSU took advantage of the international tiebreaker that puts a runner on second to start the inning and plated five runs in the frame to take the win. 

Seven different Lions had a hit each in game two, as Brooks and Turner drove in a run each. Bennett went eight innings, and allowed six earned runs, while striking out three and walking just one. 

The two teams will be back at it tomorrow afternoon with a double-header beginning at 2 pm at Kungle Field.